As the film "Julie and Julia" has recently opened in France, French cook and teacher par excellence, Princess Marie-Blanche de Broglie, salutes Julia Child.
Marie Blanche's personal school-cultural course La Cuisine de Marie-Blanche® teaches French cooking methods and much more about French culinary traditions, with valuable tips on entertaining à la Française. Marie-Blanche asserts that, without Julia's gentle influence and push, La Cuisine de Marie-Blanche® would never have had the impact and prestige in the United States that it now enjoys.
Marie-Blanche originally knew much about the Cercle des Trois Gourmettes, the three cooking teachers - Simone Beck, Louisette Bertholle and Julia Child - whose work, reputation and finally recipes evolved into the great first tome of French recipes written especially for American home cooks Mastering the Art of French Cooking .
Finally, in the late 1970s, Marie-Blanche was introduced to Julia Child and Simone (Simca) Beck, by a mutual friend of all the original Trois Gourmettes, Suzanne (Suzy) Patterson, then food and features editor of Realites magazine, English edition.
Having graduated with the Grand Diplôme from the Cordon Bleu, during the time when Madame Brassart (the same dreaded lady encountered by Julia Child in the 1950s) was head of the Cordon Bleu school, Marie-Blanche was just getting launched on a culinary career of her own, in Paris. She met the journalist Suzanne Patterson at a 1972 house party near Antibes given by Marie-Blanche's uncle, Prince Louis de Polignac, first cousin of H.S.H. Prince Rainier III of Monaco, married to the American,star, Grace Kelly, now H.S.H. Princess Grace of Monaco.
The main Monégasque famille régnante did not attend, but for several days, Princess Marie-Blanche de Broglie was enjoying a kind of royal coming-out party for her new career, as she spent time with, and devised menus with Prince Louis' s chefs , his private chef René Aupicon and the young talented Alain Ducasse of La Société des Bains de Mer.
Princesse Ere 2001 (Princess for the new 2000 millennium) was the original name of the school Marie-Blanche was launching in her elegant apartment near the Invalides.
A few years later, in 1973, Suzy Patterson found out that both Simca and Julia were in Paris, and brought them over to meet Marie-Blanche.
All were impressed with each others' charm and talent, and new friendships bloomed.
As Julia always encouraged cooking enthusiasts and professionals, she warmly encouraged Marie-Blanche - fluent in English - to expand her relationships and courses right into the U.S.A. , an idea Marie-Blanche seized on joyously.
Soon, Marie-Blanche visited Julia and Paul Child in their roomy historic house in Cambridge, Massachusetts, a colorful introduction to Julia's private life, and kitchen organized just as she wished for ease of access, to all the traditional implements and necessary gadgets or latest devices.
"Such a warm, enthusiastic reception by Julia!" recalls Marie-Blanche.
Paul and Julia Child also introduced Marie-Blanche to the famed Côte Basque restaurant in New York City, a memorable moment of excellent gastronomy and animated discussion of La Cuisine Francaise with Paul and Julia.
As both Julia and Marie-Blanche were writing their several books on French cuisine, Marie-Blanche was also thrilled to have a preface on her book The Cuisine of Normandy (1984) written by Simone Beck, the great cooking teacher whose roots were in Normandy and the rich produce and cuisine there.
Simca's last book Food and Friends- Recipes and Memories from Simca's Cuisine ' (Viking, 1991), written in English with Suzanne Patterson, was prefaced by Julia Child. She noted that besides being a great and creative cook, "Simca was my dear friend and colleague of forty years, my French sister."
During an international conference in 1995 on French gastronomy, « Paris à Table Today », Marie-Blanche de Broglie, co-chairman of the gathering opened the conference with a speech introducing Julia Child as a prime mover in creating enthusiasm for French food abroad. Julia Child expressed her support for La Cuisine de Marie-Blanche® by participating in the various events presented, especially concerning l’Art de Vivre or the Art of Gracious Living.
Marie-Blanche has also noted that Julia's enthusiasm and generosity has helped her give her own courses to Americans who admired Julia Child. In September, 2008 a group of Julia's friends from her alma mater, Smith College organized a trip based on the life of Julia Child as a theme. Marie-Blanche received them as head of La Cuisine de Marie-Blanche® in her own home to speak about L'Art de Vivre and French gastronomy and their influence in today's world.